Having walked with my Jesus now for well over forty years, you’d think I’d have all the right boxes checked. By now this list of good Christian traits should be like a second glove to me. Let’s start with the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Sure, those abound in me….uh, no! There may be glimpses or shadows of what these could be, but everyday, I will fail every one of these somewhere. My fruit has definitely not fully ripened yet.
But let’s not stop there, don’t forget doing good deeds and contentment. Check…no! Resting on the seventh day? In what lifetime? How about caring for the widow and children? There are days I’m lucky to throw a dinner in the microwave for the hubby.
And ladies, I’m of the older generation, my kids are grown and moved on with their lives. But I remember these also:
The heavy load of guilt other people will expect you to carry. “Oh, you’re a SAHM, then you don’t work so you won’t mind leading up the VBS program!” “We’re sending out 3,000 shoe boxes this year and we chose you to lead the committee.” “Pastor surprised us and is hosting a luncheon for the area pastors, we need 200 cookies by 10 am tomorrow.” Now, why are you crying?
And ladies, this is just your spiritual life, don’t forget the kids and all the sports programs, preschool play dates, the diapers that need washing and a boo-boo needs a band-aid, the special kind of band-aid that makes them smile. Add in pressure for a job and volunteer postions. But wait, don’t forget you need to be respecting and loving your husband, meeting his needs at all times.
Do you understand what I’m trying to say? I’m tired just writing this. Let me encourage you with these words:
GIVE IT UP BUTTERCUP! You might as well relax and learn to enjoy the ride...on whatever moment is happening now! Click To Tweet
Seriously, it is time to take a breath. Breathe. And take another, and another, and another.
Now, may I truly encourage you with words from our Father in Heaven. God gave His only Son for us to have eternal life with Him.
But what about Jesus? What about Mary?
Luke 2:16 Jesus was born a baby and “placed into a manger.”
I don’t think it was Mary’s first choice to put her newborn son in a feeding trough but without enough money or even arriving in the city in time to find an empty room, she didn’t have much choice. Has this ever happened to you? Do you always have money to buy the best accomodations, do your kids ever need to wear hand-me-downs? Were you ever late for a special occassion? It’s okay, even Mary went through these things.
Luke 2: 43 “His parents didn’t miss him at first.”
This is one of my favorite verses of encouragment for harried wives and moms. Mary and Joseph lost Jesus…they lost Jesus, God’s only Son. Have you ever left your child at school? Forgot to pick him or her up? I did. Did you ever lose your child for ten minutes and feel that sick feeling in your gut. I have. If Mary could lose Jesus, could you lighten up on yourself and not carry the guilt of being a bad mom?
Luke 2:52 “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.”
Jesus had to return home with Mary and Joseph. He went home for 18 years, growing in wisdom. Why did Jesus have to grow in Wisdom? Wasn’t it just inside Him as being part of the Trinity? He was fully God. He was also fully human…like you and me. He reached the age of thirty before He began His public ministry. There is something to encourage us here ladies, if Jesus, being God and man, had to have 30 years to mature, why do we think we could possibly obtain all we are supposed to know during this lifetime?
He grew in stature? The body of an 18 year old is different than the body of a 30 year old…He grew into His, such as we grow into a more mature body. Do you think He was comparing Himself to any other man? Was He happy with who He was? I believe He was. Therefore, if Jesus grew into His mature body and was content, shouldn’t we be also?
“And He grew in favor with God and all the people.” In favor with God…He WAS God! Yes, Jesus needed to spend time with God to learn what pleased God. How many times have you learned what does not please God as well as what does please Him? Jesus learned the same lessons as our human brother. And “He grew in favor with all the people.” Jesus grew up in a blended family. His mother was tainted in peoples eyes because of His birth. What societal stigma His family must have faced, insults and backward glances as they walked by? Time needed to pass before much of the hurt went away. Forgiveness among family members as we read His brothers didn’t believe until He passed away on the cross. The family of Mary and Joseph faced many of the same issues so many families face today. Please, give yourself a break if you have a blended family and issues among family members. Jesus faced the same type of things.
When you want to be a Mary!
There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to be your best. Yet God knew what your life would look like right now, at this time in history, He knows you!
God’s Word tells us in 1 Corinthians 8:12 “Whaterver you give is acceptable, if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.” Ladies, we can’t give what we don’t have! Let me repeat this…You cannot give what you do not have! This applies to more than money and physical possessions. It also applies to our time, our health, our emotional state.
I want to encourage you ladies! The pastor’s cookies can wait in line! The shoe boxes can be filled by the committee, not you. Unload the guilt! Play ball with the kids, the cleaning can wait! Take a minute when your husband gets your undivided attention. Sit for five minutes and converse with God. And Breathe my friend, breathe!